Big Little Lies : Celeste Wright


Super Empath? Upper Mid-Range Narcissist? Normal?

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Celeste Wright

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68 thoughts on “Big Little Lies : Celeste Wright

  1. giselle goldsmith says:


  2. E. B. says:

    I have just finished Season 1 and voted CoD.
    As for the cadre, I think Celeste is a Doormat. She has a high tolerance to abuse.
    She is a lawyer, successful and beautiful (high self-esteem) but gave up her career and married a violent man (low self-worth). She is a stay-at-home mother, although she is unhappy with it.
    She puts up with too much violence, walks on eggshells and believes her husband Perry is a good father because he plays with them and he has not hit or choked them (yet). She seems to find the aggressive way her husband likes to play with her children (Angry Beaver, etc.) as normal and funny.
    She believes that sexual violence and rape is ‘passion’. She even told her counsellor that ‘passion is not a problem in her marriage’, that ‘there is too much of it’.
    She was unaware about what Perry could do to her or to her children until the therapist told her.

    1. E. B. says:

      After watching parts of Season 2, especially the Court Scene when Celeste admits to having had sex with other men while still married, among other details, I am not sure she is a CoD anymore.
      I do not remember reading about CoDs having sex with different men apart from their partners since CoD are addicted to their partners (and not to other people).
      I still think Celeste is an Empath but I am not able to tell about the school as I have not watched Season 2 in its entirety.

      1. WokeAF says:

        I voted empath / carrier

        I’m still sticking w it
        But I’ve thought about codependent fyi

        1. E. B. says:

          I think you are right that she is a standard empath.

    2. WokeAF says:

      My babydaddy raged at me and called THAT passion.
      I believed him partially bc of the narc spell .

      I have passion w my MMR
      But to him it’s fuel, not passion
      I believed it to be passion bc it was what I felt (projection)

      My babydaddy provided a roof and food to his kids , “loved” them, never hit them, and Even tho deep down I knew better – i thought that made him a good father (for a time)
      (Cognitive dissonance plus him saying so /narc spell)

      I’m not codependent.

      Celeste MAY WELL BE , but just saying .

  3. Whitney says:

    I thought about Codependent, but her reaction to his ‘demise’ was brave. I just finished season 1.
    I selected Contagion because she is so empathic and sweet with her children she must absorb others emotions. The cadre carrier.

  4. E&L says:

    My guess, with having only seen a small portion of the series and some clips of their violent relationship, is CoD.
    Feel free to correct me but from my experience, no other personality type would tolerate again and again such abuse and degradation. The CoD often feels less than whole.

  5. Sweetest Perfection says:

    Co Dependent!

  6. Twisted Heart says:

    Magnet Super Empath but the more abuse she took the more she slipped into codependency. Now that Perry is gone she is returning to Super Empath and will go into Super Nova mode to keep her kids from Perry’s mother.
    Final Answer!

  7. Elke says:

    Co dependent. Left so much for her husband, her career, become full time nim, had small circle of friends and I think even tho it was abuse she was she is addicted to violent sex.

  8. misstasia says:

    I voted Super Empath. Super Empaths can take on a lot of abuse and they will hide it from others. they can take the burden on to themselves especially when there are small children involved.
    Celeste was very strong emotionally she had to be for her children. She fought back, threatened to leave and so on that made her feel powerful to a degree. It was satisfying for her whenever her husband came crawling on his knees begging to forgive him, the presents, etc. Little did she know that that he was the one with the power and hers was just an illusion.

  9. Lou says:

    HG, in your description of the Super Empath, you say they can endure a lot of abuse without getting “broken” as fast as a codependent. This may be an argument to think Celeste is a SE because she has endured a lot of physical, emotional and sexual abuse for years and is still laughing and loving her narc. In my book, she has all the traits of a cod, except for her resistance to abuse (and maybe some fighting back which, in my opinion is not the kind of fighting a SE would give). My question is, would a SE put up with all this obvious and violent abuse? True he is charming, rich, and very convincing when he says he loves her and is sorry, but, according to my own concept of a SE, she or he would not put up with that kind of abuse. I know you probably will not answer my question now but I would be grateful if you could explain more about this in the article you’re going to write about this character. Thanks

    1. HG Tudor says:


  10. Lou says:

    So I decided to watch the first season and, to me, Celeste is a codependent. She tolerates extreme physical, emotional and sexual abuse and even enjoys the dynamic she has with her husband (fights that end up in passionate and often violent and denigrating sex). She is in denial, full of anger, shame, guilt and has a distorted concept of love. She says she gets the power over her husband after she gets hit by him. She lies to protect him when they’re in therapy and blames herself for his abuse. She says that her sense of self worth is based on how people see her and she just became what her husband wanted her to become.
    She seems to have the NPD core.
    Also, she decides to leave her abuser only thanks to the intervention of the therapist, although the abuse is very obvious, violent and has been so for many years, and despite the fact she’s a lawyer and could very well be financially independent and leave him.

    I haven’t read the other comments here but, judging by the results of the vote, I am very probably repeating what has been said already.
    However, after watching tv for 7 hours, I am feeling talkative.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Repetition or not Lou, all constructive observations are encouraged here.

    2. FYC says:

      I thought that was a great analysis, Lou.

      1. Lou says:

        Thanks FYC.

    3. WokeAF says:

      Wow that’s right – the “power over” conversation, I’d forgotten about that !! Hmmm.
      I voted standard empath- I enjoy the power game too (with my narcs) and I’m not codependent at all. I just have a few narc traits but I’m a standard not a super
      So I identified with her and thought she must be standard too

      I’ve never been beaten tho , and you’re right- she seems kinda clueless as to how serious that abuse is.
      Or maybe she’s in denial about it bc she gets off on the sexual element . When the therapist hammers it home- she immediately gets an escape plan in place . I don’t see a codependent doing that as quickly , if at all

      1. Lou says:

        Hi WokeAF,
        Yes, the thing she says about getting the power (and thus control) over him after he beats her is very revealing and indicative of co-dependency (at least to me).
        According to what I have read, Codependency is also a spectrum. I have even read that “normals” have a degree of co-dependency. But that is another discussion. I believe we would make a mistake to think CoD are complete doormats who don’t fight and need to be taken from the narc almost by force. I know this is mentioned in HG’s description of the CoD in his book, but I think that, just as in the case of narcs, it is an aggregate of behaviours that determine whether or not a person is a CoD. I personally do not believe all CoD are doormats. For me, the most important factor is the presence of the NPD core (the shame, need for control, lack of boundaries, etc).
        As to how “quickly” Celeste got her plan to escape, I think this is a tv show, with time constraints and the rhythm of the plot needs to be planned in a way that it may not be in accordance to a real life case. But, considering that Celeste stayed with Perry so many years even though the abuse was substantial and obvious, I believe it actually took her a very long time to “escape”.

        1. WokeAF says:

          Good points. This is all very helpful , actually.

        2. Chihuahuamum says:

          Hi lou
          I totally agree with your post. I think people assume codependancy means weak or fully dependant but ive known people who are very independant yet very codependant. I think its a spectrum as well and different degrees of it. Celeste is a gifted lawyer yet she put up with so much. Many in her position would say they just fell victim to a con artist but i think it goes much deeper within. She was prey for a reason. If she were a real character id hope after escaping she would work on herself to find out why she was drawn to him and put up with the abuse bc she has a lot of issues to work on or she would end up in another toxic relationship.

          1. Lou says:

            Hi CM. I agree. I must say I have some questions regarding HG’s classification of empaths. My understanding is that codependents have the NPD core but did not develop NPD, therefore, they have a deep addiction to the narcissist. However, he also says they get broken more easily than empaths and SE. I think that’s where the confusion may be because Celeste is not broken after so many years of abuse and apparently she fights. So I understand people thinking she is a SE, although I don’t agree with them at all.
            I think that HG’s empathy spectrum is what I understand as the Codependency spectrum, and my concept of Codependency very probably defers from HG’s concept of the codependent. I I sometimes think all humans have an NPD core anyways but that’s another subject. It may be that HGs classification is based on the traits he saw that he had to take into consideration in order to “manage” the empath, so with the SE he had to be more careful because she could escape more easily. However, that does not mean the SE have codependent traits and are indeed in the codependent spectrum. I don’t know.

          2. WokeAF says:

            I must say I am fully benefiting from this enriching, entertaining learning opportunity (ty HG)
            I grasp much of HG’s with intellectually but the real understanding kicks in when I can apply it to people I know .
            This is challenging – and I’m very excited to hear HG’s answers and explanations.
            For example – I called MMM immediately (I think) as the super saviour – out to rescue the world and defend justice and yet many strong narc traits. It was the first time it clicked for me what a super saviour would present as . And if I’m incorrect – that’s fine- bc WHATEVER she is- I’ll have an example of it.
            Same w Celeste, Renata, all of them. I had a lot of confusion on the empaths vs super empaths vs empathic but normal , vs normal.
            It’s going to help me understand myself , my friends, better.
            Much easier to spot a male narc for me
            This is all brilliant and I hope we get a second and third homework assignment that is as lovely and challenging.

          3. nunya biz says:

            That is interesting, Lou. I have thought about some of these things, including the part about how HG sees certain things.

  11. Chihuahuamum says:

    Im onto the last epie in season 1 and celeste to me is a empath but a very codependant one! I do not see her as a super empath. Thats not to take away from her strengths as a lawyer and mother. She has a terrible addiction to perrys rollercoaster ride. She loves the highs and lows. I feel she is empathetic but id say standard very codependant empath.

  12. KellyD says:

    I’ve had to start from season 1 as I’ve never watched before. She strikes me as a co-dependent empath in her relationship with her husband and children, especially.

  13. Claire says:

    I think super empath, she’s very strong and was staying for her kids but was about to escape.

  14. Kel says:

    Celeste is a narcissist. E:2,S:4- She has no guilt when a one night stand walks out in front of her kids, she only sees it as the grandmothers fault for coming home with the kids too early. She’s defiant she’ll win a court case, gets angry and lashes out at her therapist accusing her of not being on her side when she went to her to garner her loyalty for the case, and has no anxiety or fear of the consequences or possibility of losing the lawsuit. She slapped Mary Louise hard- and as much as an empath might want to do that, they’re more likely to stop themselves.

    1. Chihuahuamum says:

      Hi kel …did you mean epie 4 season 2 bc i dont think theres 4 seasons

      1. Kel says:

        Yep, I know! Got my S and E mixed up! Season 2, Episode 4 🙂

  15. Alexissmith2016 says:

    S1E4 Jees this is tough. I’ve not studied the empaths enough, more recognise when someone has empathy.

    So far, I’m thinking she’s a bit too strong to be a CD. Although she gave up her career etc she does defy him and do things he doesn’t agree with ie the Disney on ice trip and the legal dispute. I’m not sure a CD would do that? She feels guilty about the things she does, but then does them anyway. She does also very much enjoy the sexual element of the abuse.

    But the only real life CD I know well is completely CD, a complete wreck on anti anxiety tablets to the max and unable to make decisions for herself etc. Maybe this friend is the extreme end of a CD.

    1. alexissmith2016 says:

      Pretty sure she’s an SE.

      She demonstrates copious amounts of empathy throughout. She accepts the abuse but also fights back. Defies him. Although it is clearly hurting her she has not become numb, he does work away alot so I’m sure that helps in her being able to have some intermittent recovery from his devaluations. She planned her escape, but HG mentioned once in a comment that SEs will set off the alarms as they attempt their escape. She left her phone out where he found a text re the apartment she was planning to move in to.

      1. Alexissmith2016 says:

        Yes an SE. Her N traits come through in her sexual desire. She knows it’s bad and feels guilty but enjoys it all the same. Dirty empath! But we still love her!

        She crumbles in court, is too honest but then pulls herself together for the fight!

    2. alexissmith2016 says:

      I see Lynn Benfield (Alan Partidge’s assistant) as the co-dependent type. Is that what you mean HG, when you say SEs and CDs are your preferred type?

    3. alexissmith2016 says:

      Love you

  16. Twisted Heart says:

    I voted codependent but now I’m thinking Super Empath. She’s very strong but her devotion to her family is what keeps her in the cycle of abuse.
    Tough Call!

  17. Mandy says:

    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts Hg!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You won’t hear them. You will read them Mandy!

      1. MB says:

        Unless…you are gracious enough to record them for us 😍

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I doubt that will happen. There will be other material recorded.

          1. MB says:

            I’m looking forward to it!

  18. Sophia says:

    I chose co-dependent, though I was so close to choosing super empath. She fights back, from what I understand co-dependents don’t fight back but I wouldn’t think a super empath would endure so much abuse.

    That was a tough one for me to choose. In a consultation with HG, I was identified as a super empath. I often see many co-dependent traits in myself though so maybe that’s where I struggle.

    1. Gina says:

      Hg do you think Nicole Kidman herself is an empath? I know she was previously married to Tom Cruise who seems like a total narc.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        I have not analysed her, Gina.

  19. Anm says:

    Codependent. She reminds me of my little sister. Very beautiful, successful, but codependent

  20. WokeAF says:

    Standard Empath, carrier cadre.

    1. WokeAF says:

      Standard Empath, carrier cadre (w some magnet)
      -obv not a narc duh
      -not scared to leave / continued to function without him -didn’t base entire identity around husband (not codependent)
      -once she realized the abuse would escalate to likely death, and affect the twins, she put in place an escape plan , but didn’t try to fight him or manipulate back (standard not super)
      -she doesn’t display any highly narcissistic traits
      (Not a super)
      -didn’t try to save him (not saviour)
      -no contagion to large degree
      -shows some magnet inner light but not as much as the dominant trait carrier-carrying on with what needs to be done despite pain or circumstances

      1. WokeAF says:

        I mean- unless I’m completely messed bc HG u said I was a standard – I relate to this character and the others I see as standard …not so much the supers I see ((Madeleine & Renata)
        I escaped twice as a standard , I put up a fair lil bit of fight in the relationship, and I still masturbate to thoughts of them so lol unless I’m a super …..(??) LOL

  21. Geminimom says:

    I chose codependent because she quit her law career for perry. But she could be super empath because she was escaping. This is hard for me to figure out.

  22. Lori says:

    I haven’t watched this show but since I’m one of the few diagnosed codependents here I’ll say from the comments I have read here this would scream of codependency. The Codependent always knows they should leave but we don’t. We engage in magical thinking that if if if we just do this or that or the other we will fix them and they will go back to that loving person we knew. We feel it is our personal responsibility to fix another and we derive our own self worth not to mention we have a strong need to control our environment and fixing helps us feel in control

  23. Ashlei says:

    I voted co-dependent empath as well. She is so enmeshed with Perry that even after she knows he’s a rapist, even after he beats her to within an inch of her life, she still misses him and clings to a belief in his false self. In therapy, she reacts to her therapist as if it’s a betrayaI for the therapist to address the abuse, as if because they came in for *couples* counseling, the therapist is somehow ethically obligated to *treat* Celeste and Perry as a single unit, rather than as separate individuals if that’s what’s needed, as it obviously is.

    I sympathize that she wants to preserve for her boys the idea of their father as something more than a monster, but I feel without her boys she’d still be deluding herself and clinging to him, and had he not died perhaps the only thing that would have finally prompted her to separate from him would have been seeing her boys begin to behave like their father, or seeing him begin to abuse them in the same way.

    Also, the fuel. I was confused when I first read about codependents being sources of the most potent fuel, but I see it with Celeste. Every time she threw challenge fuel at him, I had “Let’s not turn this rape into a murder” memes going through my head.

  24. K says:

    Episode one:
    So far, Celeste is a Super Empath. She hugged her boys after the first day of school, like Jane, and that is something that I only see with Empath parents IRL. My IRL narcissistic parents do not hug their children during school pickup and she told her husband, Perry, to get his fucking hands off of her when he became violent in the bedroom.

    1. K says:

      I was way off; Celeste is a CoD empath.

  25. nunya biz says:

    Codependent. I’ve only seen the one episode still and will try to get a few more in over the weekend. I was annoyed at her for buckling about whether the boy in school was guilty and should be isolated from their children. That is an awful thing to do to someone.

    1. nunya biz says:

      Oh, and I meant to add, maybe Magnet.

    2. nunya biz says:

      It seems she has more super traits lately?
      But I think CoD Magnet based on her relationship with Perry.
      Maybe both?

  26. Chihuahuamum says:

    I had chosen codependant empath but i believe any empath who stays in a toxic relationship in whatever form whether all the time or intermittently is codependant on the abuser. Even a super empath if they keep interacting on and off …codependant theyre getting something from being involved with the abuser. A codependant can be independant. I think there are degrees of codependancy and some are so codependant theyre doormats.

  27. jessrnny says:

    The codependent empath of the group. She still struggles with idealizing Perry and was compliant with the situation making constant excuses for him during the relationship. She knows that she stayed even though her stronger willed friends would have left.

  28. Chihuahuamum says:

    Ive only watched a few clips but she seems a codependant empath. I may change this once i see more of the series unfold.

  29. MommyPino says:

    I voted that she is a Co-Dependent Empath. She was stuck in her co-dependency with her husband and was even covering up for him. When he died, she told her friend that she was a better parent when he was around. She said that she couldn’t find joy for her kids and he found it for them. She also expressed feelings of not being complete now that her abusive husband is gone. Even though she tried to escape before he died, she was extremely struggling to do it. If he didn’t die, I highly doubt that her planned escape would have been successful or that she wouldn’t easily be sucked back into the dynamic.

    1. jessrnny says:

      Ooh…good explanation!

      1. MommyPino says:

        Thank you Jessrnny! 💕

  30. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

    Dearest HG: I voted she is a Co Dependent Empath. Everyone thinks she has it made, but they do not know what goes on behind closed doors in her beautiful Stepford Wife home.

    1. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

      Dearest HG: Do you have a notion on how Nicole Kidman`s famous musician husband in real life, rationalizes her intimate scenes and the way his wife is handled like that with her partner in this series?

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Yes she is an actress. She is a performer, an entertainment just like he is, therefore he both logically understands what she is doing (he is similar) and he has emotional empathy to understand it is necessary as part of her profession.

        1. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

          Dearest HG: I understand. Thank you.

  31. alexissmith2016 says:

    oh this is really teasing me so much! I want to watch it right now!

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